I have a few thoughts about the upgrade. First of all, I do want to upgrade my phone due to the low ram and the ridiculous quantity of apps that I have collected over the past year. Many of them free, but with some apps priced at 0.99 and 1.99, the ecosystem is a "suckers paradise." I figure that Apple is making millions of dollars from this "Crack Garden." And when the software is done right, you cannot complain. You come running back for more. Believe me, no one is exempt from this.
I had planned on handing over my current 3G phone to my wife, but I think that she would want multitasking and video recording and, well, you get the point. She thought about giving it to the kids, but I think that's a big mistake, until she added "to use as an emergency phone. It's only $6.99 per month to add a line." Gosh, even AT&T is in on this "suckers paradise." So it is that if the pricing is favorable (and I mean really favorable, because I am a miser when it comes to these things), we will have two new iPhones (? iPhone HD, iPhone 4.0? iPhone 4G?), whatever they decide to call it.
For me, the high points of this new update are many, but none more so than # 1 and # 2. I have been waiting for #1 forever. So, without further ado, here's my opinion on yesterday's preview:
1. Multiple Exchange Accounts.
You know, I think Steve actually reads his emails, the blogs and reviews. I actually sent him two personal emails on this subject. Not expecting to receive an answer, I saw this voiced on many other boards. The iPhone has replaced all of my email reading tasks. I am no longer tied to a desk to read my messages. When I had a Palm, the actual idea of writing a response back with a stylus nauseated me. Now, I can even dictate the response back without problems.
But really, what was important to me was this. I never ever wanted to share my private family life with the company that I work for. Don't get me wrong. I love the company that I work for. They treat me well, but sharing the fact that I have to go to my kids' basketball game or show up at the PTA or go to my Mother's house for dinner just didn't feel right. Worse! Keeping two separate calendars was a real pain. Although I have not seen the implementation as of yet, I am hoping that we will be able to show both calendars superimposed. Bravo on this one.
2. Local Alerts.
Read my take on this in the previous post. But this should have been available in 2007. I mean calling this a new feature is a bit embarrassing.
A lot has been written about this, but I think that the furor has been overblown a little. I really think that multitasking comes in a few flavors, but most are battery draining and performance lugs as noted on both the new Android devices and ALL Windows Mobile devices. For me, I have rarely ever wanted to use two apps at once. But there has always been the one exception: The Calculator. Although I am happy with Multitasking, so that we can use the calculator, I would have much rather have the OS-X approach to this which was to use DASHBOARD. For those of you who don't use a Mac, Dashboard in my opinion was the single most advanced feature that turned many people - myself and my family included- into Mac lovers. It utilized widgets that were installed into the Dashboard system and upon pressing the middle button on the mouse, overlayed a series of widgets - ie. Weather, calculator, sometimes games, time, and a host of downloadable widgets - which did not interfere with whatever it was that you had on the screen. With another click or hitting escape, the overlay disappeared and you had your original display. It was almost as if you were running two separate entities in one. I always thought that this would be transferred to the iPhone, but it has not been. Personally, I would prefer the widget approach, particularly for the Calculator and the Calendar. Nevertheless, I can't argue with the Multitasking approach detailed yesterday.
I guess the one question that keeps popping up is are we really seeing multitasking? It would appear that whatever is running in the background, actually isn't running, but suspended. I have always thought about the Unix approach, which is a program doing a calculation, say 1+1=2,+1=3,+1..... while in another window you're doing something else, but upon return, you see something like 4096+1=4097,+1...., instead it looks like you'll see: 3+1=4,+1=5...., Pause, return 5+1=6,+1=7,+1. But they did show Skype working in the background. So I am not sure how this works. Is it suspended or is it active in the background? I really didn't understand Scott Forstall's explanation of this. I'm sure that developers will bring this up later.
4. CalDAv invitations.
Another Duh moment! This is another one of those things that, if it is what I think it is, should have been in the OS a long time ago. How many times have you gotten an invitation or an appointment in an email? In windows, you can click on the appointment and it sends it to Outlook and puts it in the calendar. This is one of those things that should have been available from at least the second iteration of the phone. But kudos to Apple for listening again. I really think that they listen attentively.
Can you believe it? These are the top 4 things that I am excited about with the iPhone. Yes, I like the bookstore, but I've got Amazon's Kindle on my iPhone already and it's doing a fine job, not to mention Stanza, which does a great job for books I've had from my Palm days. There is a lot to like about this update and luckily my contract is up in a few months so upgrading - if the price is right - will be a good thing.
Did anyone see the SDK4 picture below? It was presented during the presentation. It was really glossed over, but I found a few interesting things in the diagram, mainly in the almost blurred tiny settings. See what you think about these:
1. iPod remote control accessories.
A-hem? What in the world? Are we talking about IR remotes, WiFi remotes? It's just a blurb, but it looks really interesting. Could it compete with Logitech's Harmony or is Logitech a part of this?
2. Embed PDF metadata.
I have no idea what this would be used for. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is it possible to label all of my journals with metadata for specific storage? Is it a DRM feature (not so nice if it is)?
3. In-App SMS.
4. ?Dock based orientation.
I think that is already in place, but I could be wrong.
5. Date Data Detectors.
Absolutely wonderful and I would presume goes in place with the CalDAV explained above.
6. Address Data Detectors.
What a welcome addition. Less typing. No copy and pasting. Wonderful addition.
7. Tuesday 17.
Okay, this one is a bit of a stretch. But in the box of goodies, there's a date that shows Tuesday 17th. Tuesday is a popular day for Apple. A lot of newly released products come out on that day, but granted I am falling into the Distortion Field again - didn't I tell you, no one is immune? - so, I got to thinking, if it was good enough for the Beatles to play these sorts of games, why not Apple? Tuesday 17th, falls in August. Could we see the new iPhone or iPod Touch or iMac or whatever, on Tuesday, August 17th? I don't really think that this was a random picture. But maybe it is. In medicine we call these zebras, when you hear the clickety clack of a 4 - legged creature wearing horse shoes walking outside your window. Most of the times it's obvious, it's just a horse, but there's always someone who thinks it might be a Zebra. And today that's me :):).
iAds gets full accreditation by the Media Ratings Council
10 minutes ago